French Tech Ambassadors in Berlin


Gunnar Graef

Deutsche Ventures, Managing Partner


Thibault Hanin

Co-Founder and CTO Synthesio


Alexis Hue



Uli Schmitz

Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Managing Director


Peter Borchers

Allianz X, CEO

Prof. Gunnar Graef is a French-German investor and entrepreneur. He is President of Graef & Company, Managing Partner of Deutsche Ventures and Professor at ESCP Europe. He is the founding investor of Airtag (recently acquired by Safran Group). Before, he co-founded DHL Globalmail (Deutsche Post AG). He also co-founded IndexMultimedia (IPO) in France. For his contribution to entrepreneurial education and mentorship, he was granted a professorship at ESCP Europe. At ESCP Europe he co-initiated the Chair for Entrepreneurship, Unternehmerschule and other educational programs. He is also Visiting Professor at CFVG in Vietnam.

Gunnar Graef is board advisor and investor in tech hubs and accelerators such as Rainmaking Loft, AS Plug & Play, Hubraum and Startupbootcamp Berlin.  Gunnar Graef actively supports philanthropic initiatives and is part of the Responsible Leaders network.  He is a also board member of TEDx in Germany and

Thibault is the co-founder of Synthesio, the Social Intelligence platform recognized as a global leader by Forrester.

Synthesio allows brands to listen to social conversations worldwide to better understand their consumers, and has offices in New York, Paris, London, Singapore and Brussels.

Thibault has overseen all product and engineering activities since the company's inception in 2006, driving major innovations, building a world-class product and engineering team, and building a scalable big data platform capable of collecting and processing more than 50M mentions per day in real-time.

Recently, he moved to a corporate development role where he helped drive Synthesio's first two successful acquisitions (Bunkr and SocialKarma), with more to come.

He holds an MSc in Computer Science from INSA Lyon and an MBA from ESSEC Business School Paris, and lives in Berlin.

Alexis started his career in the Technology industry in the Sales function in Asia-Pacific (Australia, Thailand, Indonesia) in 1999 before gaining an MBA from INSEAD in 2007. He then joined Areva T&D in Paris as Director of Strategy and Business Development where among other things he led the acquisition of 3 companies.

He moved to Berlin in 2010 from where he launched 3 start-ups: Deal Keren (exit to Livingsocial)  WeinderWoche and Givanto (both closed).  Alexis then joined Babbel (language learning app) early 2013 to drive the growth and internationalization of the company following its Series B financing.

During his tenure, the company enjoyed more than 100% growth year on year in terms of revenue and paying subscribers, massively increased its footprint, and closed Series C financing . Among others Alexis built, developed and managed the team of country managers and oversaw a marketing budget of several tens of million Euros.

In 2016, Alexis joined Oppex, the number one source of government procurement information in Europe, first as Chief Commercial Officer before taking over the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Ulrich Schmitz is Managing Director of Axel Springer Digital Ventures GmbH and responsible for investments in companies with new or disruptive business models. After studying Electrical Engineering and graduating with a doctorate at the Technical University of Darmstadt he held several leading positions in R&D at Mannesmann and Vodafone. 2001 he joined Axel Springer. There he was involved in the digital offensive of the company, i.a. as CTO of the Electronic Media Division. Schmitz belongs to the founders of „Unternehmerschule“, a program for Entrepreneurial Leadership at ESCP Europe.

Peter Borchers is CEO of Allianz X, which represents the company builder and venturing unit of Allianz Group. Before that, Peter founded hub:raum, Deutsche Telekom’s global incubator, and T-Innovations, an internal innovation accelerator for Deutsche Telekom. In his earlier life, Peter was one of the founders of everseven, one of the first online marketplaces for freelance jobs. He is also an active angel investor, startup mentor, author and keynote speaker. As a member of the Digital Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWi), Peter serves the German Government and advises on issues of the digital economy.